Entering the 2013 season, the AP preseason poll listed, in order, its top 10 as Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Clemson, Louisville and Florida. It wasn’t until the No. 11 team — the Florida State Seminoles — that the poll hit its first national title game participant.
Polls miss all the time. It’s the nature of these things. Auburn wasn’t ranked entering the ’13 season and went on to challenge the Seminoles for the championship trophy, while Florida, playing against a similarly difficult conference slate, stumbled through one of its worst seasons in recent memory.
Injuries, difficult schedules and misfortune can play a factor. There’s also the occasional overestimation of certain top-rated teams.
So, looking at this current preseason poll, which teams could — are likely to? — falter over the course of the year?
Florida State and Alabama come in with the highest of expectations, while Oregon has been knocking on the door for quite some time without a national title to show for it. Could it be Oklahoma or Auburn, two teams riding high after successful 2013 campaigns? Is UCLA, with Heisman candidate Brett Hundley, for real out west? Can South Carolina replace some key pieces in time? Can Baylor continue to rely on its high-powered offense?
The list of questions goes on and on.
Answers are in shorter supply.
Our college football writers Zach Dillard, Cory McCartney and Jay Clemons discuss potential pitfalls for some top-25 teams and more.